Westland Lynx Farewell Flypast – London – 17 March 2017

The Royal Navy is retiring its Westland Lynx helicopters at the end of March after 41 years of service, which included deployments for conflicts from the Falklands War through to the Gulf region. A farewell tour flypast of four Mk8 Lynx flew over a number of locations around the south of England associated with the type and included a route following the River Thames through London. They were accompanied at a distance by a new Agusta Westland Wildcat, the type which is replacing the Lynx.

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United Nations Anti-Racism Day March – London – 18 March 2017

A march took place in London demonstrating against racism on UN Anti-Racism Day, which including groups against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, ‘Stand Up to Trump’, ‘defend EU migrants’, ‘Black Lives Matter’, ‘Defend Free Movement’ and ‘No to the Muslim Ban’. The march passed a group of Britain First members behind a police cordon. A number of singers closed the day’s event representing ‘Love Music Hate Racism’.

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St. Patrick’s Day Parade – London – 19 March 2017

The traditional Irish themed parade saw a multitude of dance, music and entertainment acts follow the route to Trafalgar Square. Comedian Dara O’Briain took on the roll of Grand Marshal at the head of the parade alongside Irish government dignitaries and guests, and the Mayobridge Band set the marching pace.

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Unveiling of the Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial – Victoria Embankment, London – 9 March 2017

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, in the presence of Prime Minister Theresa May and invited guests, unveiled a memorial honouring the service and duty of both the UK Armed Forces and civilians in the Gulf region, Iraq and Afghanistan, between 1990-2015. This was preceded by a service of dedication in Horse Guards Parade. Sculptor Paul Day was present to discuss his design with the visitors, both during the ceremony and also once the fences were removed to allow the public to view his work.

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March 4 Women – London City Hall – 5 March 2017

Organised by CARE International for International Women’s Day, the March 4 Women was preceded with an event in The Scoop adjacent to City Hall – home to London’s Mayor. Lively ‘warm-up’ act Morning Gloryville had everybody on their feet as the audience grew, including a conga and culminated in a form of primal scream! Once seated the now-packed crowd listened intently to speeches from Helen Pankhurst (great-granddaughter of Emmeline), Bianca Jagger, Sadiq Khan and Annie Lennox, and enjoyed performances from Emeli Sande, and Beth Orton with Billy Bragg.

Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney also led interviews with a number of guests including young Syrian refugee and activist Muzoon Almellehan.

The finale to the event in The Scoop was an arrangement of Otis Redding’s ‘Respect’ by composer David Arnold and backed by ‘Bond’ and a choir, with singers Melanie C, VV Brown, Kate Nash, Preeya Kalidas and Natasha Bedingfield.

Everyone then gathered in front of City Hall for the march, which took a route across Tower Bridge to the Tower of London concourse – via a pretty violent rainstorm.

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